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Step 4:

Insert component in circuit board by using a pair of tweezers. If soldering iron is hot enough, take it from stand and hold it as a pen.

Place a tip of soldering iron to the solder joint and hold for a couple of seconds. Make sure that iron tip touches at the same time both the copper pad on circuit board and the component lead. Heating the only one part but not the other will result in poorly created joints.  Thermal linkage is the area of contact between the iron tip and surface of solder joint. The contact between the iron tip and surface is usually very small straight line along iron tip. Thermal linkage can be significantly increased by adding a small amount of solder to the line of contact between iron tip and surface.  Molten solder forms a heat bridge between the tip and the solder joint. This solder bridge provides the better and quicker transfer of heat into the solder joint.

Continue heating and then apply some solder to the solder joint, not to the tip of soldering iron. Solder should melt and flow smoothly onto the copper surface of pad filling a gap between component lead and copper pad. Two most common problems with soldering are adding too much or not enough solder.

All soldering operation should be completed in less than 2 seconds. The time of soldering operation depends on the temperature of your iron and size of the joint. If we keep applying heat longer than 2 seconds, this can break the pads or conductors on circuit board or damage temperature-sensitive components. 

Remove the soldering iron while keeping the joint sill - do not move circuit board for a few seconds to allow the joint to cool down and solder to solidify.

Clean flux residues with ethanol alcohol or some other solvent.
<p>Good Job. One thing, I was taught to put the side of the conical solder head against the side of the lead then put the solder between the iron and the lead, does this make much of a difference. Great Instructable and make sure to check those solder joints, was making a led display and had one bad connection and it made it display all kinds of weirdness. Man was that a pain in the but to find afterwards.</p>
<p>A few additional details to an excellent guide; 1--A cheap or low powered soldering iron can be very frustrating. A 40 watt can be good for normal #14 and smaller wire 60 watt for bigger stuff--it should quickly (= less than 1 second) melt the solder. After a while an iron can lose power but often simply taking the cold tip out and putting it back in will renew it. 2--Lead free solder can be hard to use--A small fan can blow the little bit of leaded solder smoke away from you. 3--It is easy to over heat the wire which makes it brittle and prone to breaking down the road. Because of this it is now illegal to solder many joints in Aerospace and transportation where vibration and movement occur. Getting a good hot iron to quickly heat up the joint then getting it off quickly is the trick. In aerospace Anderson connectors are often used--they require a special crimper but eliminate the need to solder connections and provide a superior joint. They are a plug and are very good for some applications. 4--Constantly (every 20-30 seconds) wipe the tip on the wet sponge mentioned to keep the tip smooth and shiny looking--prevents the tip from deteriorating. This is why most iron holders have a sponge holder built in.</p>
<p>Circuit boards may require lower powered irons! the 40 and 60 watt suggested here is for wire and metal.</p>
<p>I cant get the solder to melt. I'm using a 117v ~ 25W solder iron. I melt a little solder on the tip of the iron like you and all the other tutorials say, but even that takes longer than 2 seconds. It takes about 3 to 4 seconds. I then apply the iron to the wires that I am soldering (I'm not soldering a circuit board. I soldering wires together. But other tutorials confirm that the process is the same as you described) for a few seconds, then apply the solder to the other side of the wires as you recommend and other tutorials recommend as well. NOT to the iron tip. It doesn't matter how long I leave the iron or solder applied to the wires or how still I hold either, nothing happens. I have not been able to get any solder to melt onto any wires. It is becoming very frustrating. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.</p>
<p>I use a 40 watt iron--anything less is frustrating.</p>
Make sure the tip is tinned, for proper heat transfer.
<p>Useful tips. A good iron makes light work. After using an unregulated iron for a long time, I switched to a Hakko 936/907. A world of difference. Should have done that years earlier</p>
<p>Nice Explanation and useful... Thank you... </p>
Great effort! Your ible on soldering covers all the basics in a clear, focused manner. I had 40 hours of soldering class, from the Army. That was 42 years ago. Almost everything else has changed. Soldering by hand has remained the same. I look forward to more items from you. Thanks.
you should also add that after cutting the left over from the component you should heat the solder joint once more to prevent the solder from fractioning in use or over time. also if possible the component for soldering should have straight legs, not bent ones like in the pictures. but good guide! (remember anyone! when you solder something, do it right so it will last. if possible do a medical and military crade soldering.)
Thank you for your comment and suggestions. I agree that component for soldering should have straight legs and that is shown on image in step 4. Component for soldering in that image has a straight leg but there is also solder wire touching component leg and tip of soldering iron. This solder wire is very thin 0.020&quot; (0.50 mm) so it looks like leg of another component. I understand from your comment that this is a little bit confusing and thank you for pointing at this.
very nice...........information............
indeed a helpful one!!!.... <br>
Very helpful, Thanks for the grerat post!

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